MembersStone Fire Slab

Archaeology

By Israel Today Staff |
Photo: Assaf Peretz - IAA

Researchers from the Israel Antiquity Authority have unearthed a stone slab used in ancient times to light fires. The excavation took place near a highway between Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh. It was financed by Netivei Israel, Israel’s National Transport Infrastructure Company, which is responsible for the planning, development and maintenance of Israel’s interurban road network.

 

Anna Eirich-Rose, the excavation director, explained: “The ancient people of the New Stone Age prepared these thick slabs of limestone with two indentations. Some thought that we might have discovered a primitive board game, but according to researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the slabs were used to ignite fire. The mechanism enabled the user to rotate a tree branch in the indentations at a very high speed, which combined with a flammable material inside the indentation, would lead to ignition. There are only about ten similar slabs…in the National Treasures; thus it is...

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